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I am an artist, designer and researcher, and my work is centred on the relationship between humans and nature. My work is non-linear and each discipline explores both a particular component and the whole: an interdisciplinary, multi-scale scale approach that extends across the visual arts, essay, poetry, scientific investigation and design. I make no distinction between these practices and I find it difficult to be limited to the Western way of labelling: my research is sourced in my creative processes, and the opposite as well. My articles and essays are first paintings, and pictures, and videos, and sketches, and objects, and material interventions; and the opposite is true as well. This derives from the fact that, over the years, my work has become a contemplative practice allied with the urgency of environmental needs. Phenomenology and nature: how we relate to the natural world with our senses, what emotions they provoke. Texture, colour, tone, rhythm, patterns, shapes; feelings of calm, belong, home. Establishing relationship tones, approaching and mending bonds; through different scales, perspectives of observation, in the astonishing variety and generosity of nature. Place, senses, emotions and values are key subjects across my work, and of my relationship with Earth. I seek to create with meaning, with a way of relating to the environment, people, other species and elements based on trust, care and respect. I look for perfection in that relationship, as in all as well.

Pulitzer Prize laureate Mary Oliver describes in one of her poems that her work is loving the world: to observe and be astonished. That is my work description too, beyond the mere protocolary one. The tools and methods used in that process simply vary, moment by moment.

Ligia Oliveira



I grew up surrounded by the tranquillity of Ria Formosa landscapes in southern Portugal, which have inspired me ever since. I studied Product Design in ESAD (Matosinhos, PT), and at 23 I started a PhD in Public Space and Urban Regeneration at the University of Barcelona. Since the beginning of my career, I maintained a balance between multiple practices: writing, drawing, painting; research and design.

I am the author of multiple scientific articles on the subjects I work upon, and with Isabel Carvalho and Pedro Nora, edited the book The Economy of the Artist (Braço de Ferro, 2010). I was awarded the 3rd prize in Urban Furniture by the Antwerp City Council & Antwerpen Havenhuis (co-author) and the 2nd prize in National Illustration by the Matosinhos City Council. My work has been exhibited mostly across Europe.


I worked as researcher at the University of Barcelona, and professor at the Master degree in Art & Design for Public Space at the University of Porto. Since 2020, I am a member of RISE UP - A Blue Call to Action, an international network of ocean advocates; and since 2022, of the Design+Posthumanism Network.


Throughout the years, my work has been supported by the Portuguese Ministry of Culture, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Foundation for Science and Technology, and Spain's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. Recent clients include the European Commission and the Mind and Life Institute. Creativity and research are slow, demanding tasks and these institutions, and many other people, have contributed to make my efforts possible - something I am very grateful for.


After living in Antwerp and then Barcelona for many years, I now work from Southern Portugal.

Short Curriculum Vitae



2022 | Bodies of Water. PT/Online

2022 | Nature Inspired. Through Objects. PT/Online (Group)

2021 | Undeniable. PT/Online (Solo)

2021 | Pigments Revealed. USA/Online (Group)

2021 | The Mind, the Human-Earth Connection, and the Climate Crisis. USA/Online (Group)

2021 | Between the Sea and the Shore. Pop Up Gallery. Faro. PT (Solo)

2020 | Crafted & Curated. Through Objects. Copenhagen, DK/Online (Group)

2020 | Memorial. Un-built monument, several forests, PT

2020 | Exoskeletons line. Intervention at Santo António beach, PT

2020 | Woven into Nature. Small-scale interventions in Vila Real de Santo António, PT

2020 | Inhabit the Body, Live the Place. PT/Online (Solo)

2013 | Nas Margens. Barcelona. ES* (Group)

2011​ | Nas Margens. Almada City Museum. PT* (Group)

2008 | Pontevedra Cultural Centre. ES (Group)

2003 | Voyager 03, ExperimentaDesign Biennale. Paris. FR** (Group)

2003​ | Voyager 03, ExperimentaDesign Biennale. Barcelona. ES ** (Group)

2003 | Voyager 03, ExperimentaDesign Biennale. Madrid. ES** (Group)

2003 | Voyager 03, ExperimentaDesign Biennale. Lisbon. PT** (Group)

2001 | XI Illustration and Comics International Exhibition. Porto. PT (Group)

2000 | Urban Design Collective. Lisbon. PT (Group)

2000 | Mail Art. Artes em Partes, Porto. PT (Group)

2000 | Urban design collective. Lisbon. PT (Group)

2000 | Objectos En/Inviáveis. Caldeira 213, Porto. PT (Group)

1999 | Matosinhos City Council, Matosinhos. PT (Group)

1999 | Havenhuis, Antwerp. BE*** (Group)

*as part of CRPolis, University of Barcelona | **coauthor, w/ S’A architects | *** coauthor


2021 | Mind and Life Institute, USA. 

2020 | Ministry of Culture, Portugal. 

2009 | Foundation of Science and Technology (FCT), Portugal (PhD grant). 

2011 | University of Barcelona Research Commission. 

2009 | Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Portugal (with Braço de Ferro). 

2009 | University of Porto, Portugal (with Braço de Ferro). 

2000 | MAEC - AECID (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation), Spain (PhD grant). 

1999 | PEDIP – Ministry of Economy, Portugal and European Commission (Post-Graduation grant). 

1999 | 2nd Prize, National Illustration Award. Matosinhos City Council, Portugal. 

1999 | 3rd Prize (co-author), Urban Furniture Award. Antwerp Port Entity and Antwerp City Council, Belgium. 

1998 | European Commission (Erasmus grant).


2023   Bodies of Water. Three Knots Mag, Valencia (essay)

2021   Oceanica. UNESCO Chair Ocean’s Cultural Heritage, NOVA University, Lisbon (cover feature)

2020   Odisea de Parténope (poetry. Author's edition, Portugal)

2020   Artists & Climate Change. New York: The Artic Circle (online)

2019    Sessenta Dias de Madrugada (poetry. Author's edition, Portugal)

2018    Espacio público y buques insignia de la cultura en distritos creativos: El caso de Can Framis. AACA Digital, 43 - Asociación Aragonesa de Críticos de Arte. Zaragoza (scientific paper)

2015    “Culture as an engine in Palo Alto’s urban regeneration process”. On the Waterfront, vol. 37, pp.7-45. Barcelona: University of Barcelona (scientific paper)

2014    “Interdisciplinarity: teaching/learning in urban design projects”. On the Waterfront, Interdisciplinarity in Urban Design and Public Art: Theoretical Progress, nº29, pp.23-40. Barcelona: University of Barcelona (w/Brandão, A; Castillo, M; Padilla, S.; Pinto, A; Salas, X; Sasa, Z.) (scientific paper)

2011    “Public space in culture-led historic centre transformation projects: Porto case study”. On the Waterfront. Urban Planning in Portugal, nº18, pp.47-65. University of Barcelona (scientific paper)

2011    “Património, turismo e cultura no consumo do espaço urbano” (“Heritage, tourism and culture in urban space consumption”). A Rua de Todos, pp.1-14. Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon (International Conference Proceedings)

2011  “The role of design in city competition: industrial production and urban space in the 22@Barcelona district”. VI CIPED, International Congress in Design Research, pp.1-6. Architecture Faculty, University of Lisbon (International Conference Proceedings)

2009   “Reseña de Tesis: “El Espacio Público en el Centro Histórico de Puebla (México)”, de Adriana Hernández Sánchez” (“Ph.D. thesis review: Public space in Puebla’s historical centre”). On the Waterfront. Arte pública nas dictaduras. Porto Alegre (Brasil), 1970-1979, nº13, pp. 20 - 39. Barcelona: University of Barcelona (scientific paper)

2010   The Economy of the Artist. Braço de Ferro, Porto (Editor, w/ Nora, P. and Carvalho, I.) (book editor)

2010   “Artist’s Precarity and Local Development Opportunities”. The Economy of the Artist, pp.151-161. Porto: Braço de Ferro (book chapter)

2009   “Functionality and ideology: “Rio clothes washing” as a challenge to authority”. In: Vaz-Pinheiro, G. (Ed.). Archaeology of the urban, pp.147-158. Porto: Fine Arts Faculty of Porto University (book chapter)

2008 A Casa Sincera não é a Casa Portuguesa and A minha leitura da Casa Sincera. Carvalho, I. A Casa é Sincera. Porto: Braço de Ferro (book chapters)

2008 “Mercado do Bolhão: Ideias a considerar para o futuro da cidade” (“Bolhão market: suggestions to the city’s future”). Jornal de Notícias, 20/05/2008. Porto: Global Media Group (newspaper article)

2005   “Planeamento Urbano em Lisboa: que futuro?” (“Urban planning in Lisbon: what future?”). Arq./a, Revista de arquitetura e arte, nº31, pp.5-31. Lisbon: Futurmagazine (article)

2000  Barcelona 12345. Analysis of five Barcelona public spaces. Brandão, P.; Remesar, A. (Eds.). Public space and Interdisciplinarity, 32-34. Lisbon: Centro Português de Design (book chapter)


2022 | RISE UP – A Blue Call to Action Working Session, an event of some of the 500+ members of this network, gathered before the UN Ocean Conference. Organised by Oceano Azul Foundation (Guest speakers included Peter Thomson, UN Secretary-General Special Envoy for the Ocean, Biologist Sylvia Earle). (Scheduled floor Intervention)

2022 | INTECH Talks | Eco-innovation success cases panel. With António Lorena (3Drivers), Eglantina Monteiro (8950) and João Navalho (Necton); mod: Pedro Lemos. INTECH Algarve - National Association of Young Entrepreneurs (ANJE) and the Universidade of Algarve; organised by Blue Seven. Online. PT (Invited talk)

2021 | Art & Sustainability. With Pepe Brix (Photographer), Rui Santos (Biologist, UAlg), Nicolas Blanc (Biologist, Sciaena); mod: Miguel Neto. Open Studios Faro at HB3, Faro. PT (Invited talk)

2011 | The City is ours... of all of us. IST Architecture Faculty/Institut pour la ville en mouvement​, at MUDE, Lisbon. PT (Academic conference)

2011 | VI CIPED, International Congress in Design Research. IST Architecture Faculty, at Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon. PT (Academic conference)

2010 | City Communication Seminar. Fine Arts Faculty, University of Barcelona. ES (Academic conference)

2009 | Polis Seminar. Fine Arts Faculty, University of Barcelona. ES (Academic conference)

2008 | Professional Practice Seminar. Fine Arts Faculty, University of Porto. PT (Moderator)


2009-14    Researcher at CRPolis, Art, City, Sustainability, Faculty of Fine Arts - University of Barcelona, Spain

2007-08   Invited Assistant Professor, Project I, Master in Art & Design in Public Space, Faculty of Fine Arts - University of Porto, Portugal


2014 | PhD in Public Space and Urban Regeneration, University of Barcelona. Spain

2002 | Research Proficiency Diploma, PhD in Public Space and Urban Regeneration, University of Barcelona. Spain

2000 | Post Graduation in Urban Design, Portuguese Design Centre. Portugal

1999 | Product Design Degree, ESAD. Portugal

1999 | Final year at the Product Development Department  (with one project at the Interior Architecture Department), University of Antwerp. Belgium

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